“The US government proved that Microsoft possessed, and illegally exploited, monopoly power in the ‘antitrust case of the century,’ the six-year action that ended in July 2004. The Final Judgment allowed Microsoft to remain whole, but imposed conditions that permit rival software makers to tuck their products into its Windows operating system. Anti-Microsoft groups were outraged; a spokesman for one said: ‘This decision represents the failure of antitrust laws in the high-tech industry… An unrestrained monopolist in the most vibrant sector of the economy cannot be good for America,'” Thomas W. Hazlett writes for The Financial Times.
“The critics were right: the Government’s remedies have had little impact. Yet today customers are flocking to Microsoft’s competitors. Hammered on multiple fronts by opportunistic rivals, the high-flying starship of the PC Age has stalled, and many wonder if it will now crash and burn,” Hazlett writes. “Compare the fortunes of Apple and Microsoft. To most, Apple is yesterday’s news, ‘That ‘70s Show.’ But the company, despite myriad marketing blunders, has survived, and today the Mac is back. Finally price competitive with PCs, and offering software used interchangeably with other programs, the company is staging a run. Apple’s share of the US desk top computers market was up by half from 2003 to 2004.”
Hazlett writes, “That share is still low – just 3 per cent for desk tops, about twice that for notebooks – but a much bigger run may be in the offing. That is because of the plague that has hit the Windows world. Apple, with its tight, integrated interfaces cinching hardware to software has proven powerfully resistant to viruses and spyware, the poisonous infections of the Internet. Meanwhile, Microsoft users scramble to update their software with the latest patches, frantically downloading anti-viral software, running and re-running spyware disinfectants. With the Mac offering equally proficient word processing, presentations, spread sheets, web browsing and email, along with the standard multi-media applications, many are asking: Why bother?”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: A nice article that also makes mention of the facts that over the last two years, Microsoft’s shares have risen just 5.3%, while Apple’s have surged 373% and that Microsoft’s market cap has flat-lined at $260 billion, while Apple’s cap has nearly multiplied sixfold from $6 to $35 billion.